I am writing a book currently – retelling of Bible character’s stories alongside my own life. The one I have been writing over the last few weeks is about Gideon. I’m not going to post that here now. Instead I’m going to share what came out of a comment someone made about why I had overlooked the fact that Gideon had come to a bad end.
The stories are about overcoming obstacles. They are not about polishing up a halo for the person – in this case Gideon! David’s story mentions nothing of Bathsheba!!!
Every story will have far more details than can ever be mentioned! It would be phenomenally boring to mention every detail of someone’s life: the time they walked into the door and got a bruise, stubbed their toe on the bed, argued with the Mrs about what they would be eating today, every time they went to the loo, or travelled to buy food, every time they walked from one tent to another, every time they sacrificed an animal for their sin, every time they ate and slept. The reality is that not all events help in the telling of a particular portion of a person’s life.
Gideon was not a perfect man. Who is?? Perfection on earth is not possible unless you are God! We are limited beings, with a limited knowledge and perception. Gideon’s failing was slipping back into old ways, for failing to keep the grounding of God in his life, failing to hold onto to who God was, and to step into a worship of Him while the goodness of God faded from his mind! We are all capable of such things, perhaps not to the extent Gideon did it, but forgetful nonetheless! The disciples saw Jesus feed a crowd of thousands of people, yet only months later didn’t believe Jesus could do it again. They had forgotten His miraculous nature, His desire to feed the hungry, His love for His people. Their limited minds could not understand!
The only real difference now for us is the Holy Spirit, the living presence of God residing in our lives, to help prompt us, but only if we choose to listen! A prompting remains useless if ignored! And the more you ignore the promptings, the harder it becomes to hear them at all!
So the questions really should be, not why have you chosen to ignore Gideon’s tarnished halo, but how do we prevent forgetfulness from creeping into our lives? How do we hold on to who God is when we can’t see Him? How do we make a break from the mistakes of our past and the mistakes of our parents? How do we follow God wholeheartedly when life gets tough? Who will stand beside us to hold us accountable for our actions? Who will help us worship, even as God’s goodness fades from our limited minds?
It’s not that I think Gideon’s failings are insignificant, it’s simply that parts of his life are not helpful in showing how we can overcome our obstacles, and step into the calling God has for our lives.